Clinical Japan outclass Hong Kong in Asian Women’s Rugby Championship
Sakura inflict thumping 58-0 defeat on Jo Hull’s team before they face off again in the championship decider next weekend at King’s Park
Hong Kong’s Asian rugby championship campaign got off to a rough start with a 58-0 loss to Japan in the first of the two-match series on Saturday in Odarawa.
From the outset, the Sakura dominated the set piece and contact area in a clinical performance that caused real problems for Hong Kong coach Jo Hull’s squad. Japan jumped out to a 22-0 lead, and claimed the bonus point for scoring four tries, in the opening 25 minutes. The Sakura went on to score 10 tries in total, five either side of half-time.
“It was a disappointing performance obviously, but fair play to them, they came out hard and fast and dominated in all areas really,” said Hull.
“We played some okay rugby in parts and forced them into some mistakes defensively, but we let ourselves down, particularly at the contact area, and our set piece is underperforming at the moment, which is hurting us,” Hull added.
“We are bitterly disappointed, but no one is feeling sorry for themselves in that locker room. We know we had a bad day at the office. We need to learn from that and also put it behind us now,” said Hull.
“Collectively, we need to look inward, and ask ourselves what we are going to do as a team, as the entire squad including the girls at home, for next week. That is my challenge to the players the management, to everyone,” Hull said.
For Hull, the side now has an important opportunity to test its mettle for the last time in a match environment ahead of the world cup next month.
“We have seven days before our next test, so we need to review and get back to work on what we need to get right. That will be a good preparation for us for the World Cup, where we are going to have to be able to contest back-to-back tough matches,” added Hull.
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“We are a month out from our biggest ever challenge and the players are aware that today was an unacceptable performance when we are wearing the Hong Kong jersey, but it doesn’t change what we are doing, or our belief in ourselves, our training and what we are working on. This is another opportunity now for us to get better,” said Hull.
The teams will face off again in the championship decider next Saturday, July 15, at King’s Park before Hull names her Rugby World Cup squad.